Neelamperoor Pooram Padayani

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Neelamperoor Pooram Padayani is an old Dravidian ritual offering to the Kali Mother Goddess. This great cultural and religious event of central Kerala is celebrated during September-October at Neelamperoor, a village near to Kottayam. This Padayani is celebrated in the Palli Bhagavathi Temple, which has a history of more than 1000 years. Continue reading

Temple Festival – Ezhara Ponnana

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Ezhara Ponnana is a unique temple festival at Ettumanoor, a temple to Lord Shiva near Kottayam. “Ezhara” means seven-and-a-half and “Ponnana” means golden elephant. Statues of these elephants are made of nearly 13 kg of gold each. Seven of the elephants are two feet high, but the eighth one is only one foot tall, which gives the procession and festival of Ezhara Ponnana its name. Continue reading

The Ritual of Karkidakam Vavu bali

 

Photo credits : Remash Kidangoor

Photo credit: Remash Kidangoor

Karkidakam is the last month of Malayalam calendar, a calendar of significance for Hindus living in Kerala. On the eve of the new moon in Karkidakam–two days ago, July 26th–Keralite Hindus gather on the beaches and river banks to pay obeisance to their ancestors by performing the bali tharpanam ritual. This day is known as Karkidakam Vavu. Keralite Hindus believe that the souls of their ancestors attain liberation by the ritual pujas (prayers) and bathing on this day. Continue reading

Meenakshi Temple Gopuram – Madurai

Photo credits : Remash Kidangoor

Photo credits: Remash Kidangoor

Madurai has a historical legacy over 2500 years, making it the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. On the banks of the river Vaigai, Meenakshi Temple dominates the city of Madurai, which evolved around it. The architecture in this temple is purely Dravidian, but the styles of many dynasties have influenced the decorations and construction of Meenakshi since it has changed hands over the centuries. Continue reading

Matrimandir – Auroville, Pondicherry

Photo credits : Binu Kumar

Photo credits: Binu Kumar

The spectacular Matrimandir (meaning “Temple of the Mother” in Sanskrit) can be found in Auroville, Pondicherry, India. The Matrimandir can’t be called a temple in the typical sense of the word. It isn’t a church or other place of worship, nor is it strongly associated with any religions. It is, instead, envisioned as a place of spiritual energy. The Matrimandir appears as a large golden sphere that seems to be rising out of the earth. Continue reading

Koorkencherry Pooyam – Thrissur

Photo credits : Jithin Vijay

Photo credits : Jithin Vijay

The Koorkencherry Pooyam festival is celebrated in the Sri Maheswara Temple, situated in the Thrissur district of Kerala. One of the main attractions of the Pooyam is Kavadiyattom. Kavadiyattoms are divided into two types, Pookavadi and Ambalakavadi. The performing groups start these ritual dances in the morning of the festival. Continue reading

Arattupuzha Pooram – Kerala

Photo credits : Jithin Vijay

Photo credits: Jithin Vijay

Arattupuzha Temple is located in the Thrissur district of Kerala. The annual festival, Arattu Pooram, is a grand ceremony. Arattu refers to one of the concluding rituals of the temple festival, which is a ritualistic bath in the Karuvannur river on the next morning of Pooram day (when the moon rises with the Pooram star). Continue reading

Velankanni Basilica – Tamil Nadu

Photo credit : Shymon

Photo credit: Shymon

The Velankanni Basilica is a Roman Catholic house of worship in the Nagapattanan district of Tamil Nadu, on the Bay Of Bengal. It is one of the famous pilgrim centers in South India. The Basilica commemorates Mother Mary, who is said to have appeared as a vision to people in the area. The building is also known as Our Lady of Good Health.

Mayillattam Dance

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

The Mayillattam Dance derives its name from the Peacock, the celestial vehicle of Hindu Lord Subramania (son of Lord Shiva). Donning the costume of a Peacock, with painted faces, beak, headgear and wings of peacock feather, the dancers perform this ritualistic dance offering. As a ritual, it continues to be practised in the Travancore region. Continue reading

St. Mary’s Forane Church, Pullincunnu- Alleppey

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

St. Mary’s Forane Church is one of the oldest Christian Churches in India. This church is situated at Pullincunnu on the bank of Pampa River. The village is part of the Kerala Backwaters, a network of lakes, wetlands, and canals. Pulincunno is notable for the annual Rajiv Gandhi Trophy boat race. Continue reading

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple is believed to be at least 2,000 years old, and is a Vedic Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It rests in the heart of the city of Trivandrum, Kerala. Treasures with an estimated value of around US $18 billion make it one of the richest temples in the world, if not the richest. Continue reading

Prayers

Pooja

Photo credits: Ramesh Kindangoor

Worship is an integral part of every Indian’s life, especially Hindu’s. It starts from one’s early age with rituals performed during birth all the way to rituals performed upon one’s death. Worship rituals in Hindi are called ‘pooja‘ and are mostly performed by people who have dedicated their life to god. These individuals are called ‘pandits‘, and almost all pooja consists of a fire which is believed to be the path of offering, into which many things are burned as offerings. Continue reading